David W. Bates, MD, Senior VP and Chief Innovation Officer at Brigham and Women's Hospital is a recognized expert in patient safety. In his work he has demonstrated how information technology can help improve the quality of care while also lowering cost. He is teaches health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he co-directs the Program in Clinical Effectiveness and serves as external program lead for research in the World Health Organization’s Global Alliance for Patient Safety.
Donald Berwick, MD, is a senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, an organization he founded and headed as president and CEO. In July 2010, Pres. Obama appointed Berwick to lead the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as administrator. With CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner preparing to step down from her CMS post, some have speculated Obama may nominate Berwick to run CMS again. Berwick served on President Clinton's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry. He espouses a strategy of "continuous learning without blame" as the best and fastest way to improve healthcare.
As CEO of the healthcare watchdog organization The Leapfrog Group, Leah Binder leads breakthrough improvements in safety, quality and affordability. The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is the gold standard for comparing hospitals’ performance on the national standards of safety, quality, and efficiency. Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score assigns A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2500 U.S. hospitals based on their ability to prevent errors, accidents, injuries and infections. videos and tips for patients and their loved ones.
Quality care is top of mind for Maureen Bisognano, RN. It has been ever since she was a young nurse, and developed into a true mission not long later when she worked side by side with Donald Berwick, MD, at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass. Today, she is president and CEO of the organization and Berwick serves as president emeritus and senior fellow. The centerpiece of the organization's work on improving care has been its focus on the Triple Aim, the IHI initiative that focuses on improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), improving the health of populations and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare. "One of the places I see as a safety risk is our failure to coordinate," she told Healthcare IT News in an interview published in December 2014. "We have multiple physicians or care givers from different parts of the system taking care of the patient and they're not coordinating and they're not communicating."
Christine K. Cassel, MD, serves as president and CEO of the National Quality Forum. She is a leading expert in geriatric medicine, medical ethics and quality of care. Before NQF, Cassel served as president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Cassel is one of 20 scientists chosen by President Obama to serve on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, PCAST, which advises the President in areas where an understanding of science, technology, and innovation is key to forming responsible and effective policy.
Tejal K. Gandhi, MD is a board certified internist, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a certified professional in patient safety. Gandhi’s research interests focus on patient safety and reducing error using information systems. She won the 2009 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Award for her contributions to understanding the epidemiology and possible prevention strategies for medical errors in the outpatient setting. Gandhi became President of the National Patient Safety Foundation in July 2013.
Atul Gawande, MD, a surgeon, writer and public health researcher who practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, is also an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. Gawande writes on topics related to healthcare safety and cost for The New Yorker. He is the author of the "The Checklist Manifesto," in which he advocates use of a checklist in the operating room to avoid errors. His most recent book, published last year, is titled "Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End."
Brent C. James, MD is chief quality officer and executive director of the Institute for Health Care Delivery Research at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City. James has trained more than 3,500 healthcare professionals in clinical management methods through the Intermountain Advanced Training Program in Clinical Practice Improvement. Doctors and hospital executives have waited years to get a spot in his class, which has been described as a combination of statistical methods and management theory. James is known around the world for his work in clinical quality improvement, patient safety, and the infrastructure that underlies successful improvement efforts.
Ashish K. Jha, MD, is a practicing general internist at the VA. He is a professor of Health Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and and a newly elected member of the Institute of Medicine. His work has focused on four primary areas: public reporting, pay for performance, health information technology and leadership. As he puts it, he is primarily interested in the roles they play in effecting the delivery of safe, effective, patient-centered care.
Lucian Leape, MD, is adjunct professor of health policy at Harvard. His most recent work has focused on the application of systems theory to healthcare, improving disclosure and apology following medical harm and, most recently, changing medical culture to be more respectful and patient-centered. Photo courtesy Lucian Leape.
Peter Pronovost, MD, is a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care physician who is dedicated to finding ways to make hospitals and healthcare safer for patients. In June 2011, he was named director of the new Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins, as well as Johns Hopkins Medicine’s senior vice president for patient safety and quality. Pronovost has developed a scientifically proven method for reducing the deadly infections associated with central line catheters. His simple but effective checklist protocol virtually eliminated these infections across the state of Michigan, saving 1,500 lives and $100 million annually.
Robert Wachter, MD, is professor and associate chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he directs the 55-physician Division of Hospital Medicine. He is the author of 250 articles and six books. He coined the term “hospitalist” in 1996 and is generally considered the “father” of the hospitalist field, the fastest growing specialty in the history of modern medicine. In the safety and quality arenas, he edits the US government’s two leading websites on safety (they receive about one million yearly visits) and has written bestselling books on the subject, including Understanding Patient Safety. His latest, about health IT, is titled, "The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age," and will be published in April.